If your name was in the infidelity website Ashley Madison data dump and your partner found out, you will probably end up alone & single. With a high divorce rate, solo parenting, and many people delaying marriage to pursue career goals, the number of single people is on the rise, according to Science Daily. Once upon a time in America, marriage was the norm for adults. However, single people now outnumber married adults in the United States, with more than 128 million singles representing 51 percent of the adult population.
NO DRAMA PLEASE
New research has found that if you avoid drama, living a single life can make you as happy as if you were in a relationship.
“It’s a well-documented finding that single people tend to be less happy compared to those in a relationship, but that may not be true for everyone. Single people also can have satisfying lives,” said lead researcher Yuthika Girme, a psychology doctoral candidate at the University of Auckland in New Zealand.
FEARING RELATIONSHIP CONFLICTS
The survey published by the ‘Society for Personality and Social Psychology’ involved more than 4,000 New Zealand residents. Researchers found that people with high “avoidance social goals” – for whom relationship disagreements and conflict are synonym with “RUN”– were just as happy being single as other people were in relationships. Quoting George Washington, “It is better to be alone than in bad company.”
Contrary to previous research that associated being single with a lower life satisfaction and poorer physical and psychological health, the study noted that for some individuals, being single may actually lead to a more ‘zen’ life – removing some of the anxiety triggered by relationship conflicts. Conversely, the study found that participants who enjoyed the emotional roller coaster of relationships were less happy when they were single.
“I think this study underscores the point that you can never say one-size-fits-all,” said James Maddux, a senior scholar at the Center for the Advancement of Well-Being at George Mason University in Fairfax.
“There are many paths to happiness,” said Maddux, who was not involved in the study.
CONFLICTS CAN BE GOOD
Trying too hard to avoid relationship conflicts may create more problems and have negative repercussions on a relationship, Girme said. According to the study, the effects of “approach social goals,” where people “seek to maintain relationships by enhancing intimacy and fostering growth together as partners”, are the best – free – couple therapy out there.
SINGLE LADIES (AND GENTLEMEN)
Although Americans are increasingly single, by international standards, these numbers are surprising — surprisingly low, according to Bloomberg. In Paris, the so-called city of lovers, more than half of all households contain single people, and in socialist Stockholm, the rate tops 60 percent.
Are you single, yet happy? Share your experience in the comments section below.